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News Release: June 19, 2007
Comedy Central Writers Win WGA Contract
 
Writers Guilds Reach Agreement with Viacom’s Comedy Central

LOS ANGELES -- The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) today announced a landmark deal between Viacom’s Comedy Central and the WGA covering writers of four of the network’s top shows, including The Sarah Silverman Program, Mind of Mencia, The Showbiz Show with David Spade, and American Body Shop. In the negotiated agreements, over 30 writers for the Comedy Central Network will receive Writers Guild compensation levels, pension and health benefits, credits, and a residual formula for reuse (including DVD, basic cable, and Internet).

"I'm so proud to be one of the writers who stood together to demand fair and just treatment,” said Jeff Schimmel, a supervising producer of Mind of Mencia. “I feel good about what we were able to accomplish not just for us but for the Comedy Central writers I’ve never met, who in the future will also benefit from our efforts.”

Writers of Comedy Central’s New York-based hits The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report won WGA contracts earlier this year. With the new contracts, the WGA now covers every live action show currently in production on Comedy Central.

“This is an important and historic achievement coming only weeks before our industry-wide negotiations begin,” said Patric M. Verrone, president of the WGAW. “I'm sure all writers share my gratitude for the fortitude and tenacity of our Comedy Central colleagues, which resulted in an excellent agreement. This success only increases our commitment to win a contract for the writers of Comedy Central's newest hit, Lil Bush, and Reno 911."

"These contracts show what's possible when the companies come to the table and are willing to negotiate," said Chris Albers, president of the WGAE.  "We hope this is a sign of things to come."

“The writers and showrunners working together made this happen, and the WGA and the greater comedy community supported us,” said Dan Sterling, showrunner of The Sarah Silverman Program. “Doug Herzog and Comedy Central have demonstrated they are supportive of talent by negotiating a fair and reasonable agreement that shows respect for writers."

For more information about the Writers Guild of America, West, please visit www.wga.org; for more information about the Writers Guild of America, East, please visit: www.wgaeast.org.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) represent writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news.